Rifle child sexual assault case continued for possible plea deal

Editor’s note: The defendant’s name is not being used in this case to protect the identities of the minor victims.

The case against a Rifle man accused of sexually assaulting five minors who were in his trust over multiple years was continued Thursday pending a possible plea deal.

If no deal is reached, the case will be set for trial.

Defense attorneys for the 55-year-old man said at a Thursday arraignment hearing before Garfield District Judge Denise Lynch that they need more time to talk to the 9th District Attorney’s Office.

The case was bound over for trial by Lynch following several hours of testimony from investigators at a preliminary hearing July 20.

Lynch agreed to continue the case until Oct. 6, but called that a “decision date” and expressed concerns about another lengthy delay.

“People need closure in this case, everybody,” Lynch said.   

The man faces 19 felony sexual-assault counts based on allegations dating back several years.

According to court documents, the man allegedly sexually abused one child in his care on numerous occasions from the time she was age 4 in 2009 until 2018, when she was 13.

Several other alleged victims, including friends of the primary victim, also eventually came forward with similar allegations against the man, according to court documents.

The defendant remains in the Garfield County Jail on $100,000 bond.

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